One of Melbourne's favourite ride-by cafes, bars and restaurants, Green Park, may have called it a day, but a new eatery has arisen in its place. Owner and restaurateur Jesse Gerner has relaunched the Carlton North space as Park Street, forming somewhat of culinary supergroup in the process.
Gerner has brought in team members from his other Melbourne venues as co-owners of the new venue. Kelly O'Loghlen, chef Andrew Fisk and Shane Barrett are involved with Bomba and bottle shop Samuel Pepys (with Barrett also in on the newest opening, Nómada). Russell Hall — who's currently head chef at Añada — comes in to head up Park Street's food offering, and Harry Fishman of neighbouring Velo Cycles is in on the action too.
The eatery is situated on the section of the Capital City Trail that runs parallel to Park Street in Carlton North. Gerner, Hall and Fisk continue to use locally-grown produce, including veggies grown in Park Street's own garden, but have switched focus to Italian bites. Specifically on offer is a changing array of cicchetti and handmade pastas from Wednesday to Sunday. Highlights include wood-grilled sardines wrapped in pancetta and poached veal crostini, plus the likes of braised duck rotolo with wood-grilled radicchio and prawn agnolotti with shellfish bisque. From the main selection, expect roasted barramundi fillet with braised clams, and wood-grilled O'Connor flank steak with salsa verde.
With a focus on small producers, the idea is to offer a place for family dinners, a quick bite on the way home, or somewhere to share snacks with friends. Capital Coffee Roasters blends are still on offer for caffeine fiends, while baking in-house pastries and breads continues daily. Anyone after breakfast or lunch will find meals such as waffles filled with braised beef cheek and cavolo nero, and suckling pig rolls with kale slaw. Drinks-wise, Park Street also boasts a range of wines from Italy, Southern France, Greece and Croatia, as well as a by-the-glass lineup that shines a spotlight on innovative, small-scale wineries alongside classic producers and varietals.
The interiors have also experienced a refresh, lightening and brightening the room with white walls, mirrors, tan leather couches, indoor plants and an open kitchen to expand the space visually.